Bismarckia nobilis

Common Name: Bismarkia Palm
Family Name: Arecaceae
Botanical Name: Bismarckia nobilis
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Characteristics: B. nobilis has palmately-lobed leaves that are bright gray-green or blue in color and can eventually grow up to 10 feet across with petioles up to 6 feet long. In addition, leaves remain erect throughout their life and do not droop with age. Plants are dioecious (male and female flowers are born on separate individuals). Flowers are white to cream colored and are born on stalks reaching 4 feet in length. Fruits are black colored, round to lumpy in shape, and can be up to 2 inches long.
Life Form Description:
Compound: Bis nob
Geographic Origin: Madagascar
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Natural History: The Bismarckia nobilis was first discovered in Madagascar, an island country to the southeast of Africa. The palm was given its name by Otto Von Bismarck, a German chancellor in the 19th century. Nobilis means noble in Latin which is why the tree was given the name; after the nobility of Otto Von Bismarck. The Bismarkia Palm is now found in many countries, including the United States, and is used most often as a specimen tree. 

 Natural History of the UA Campus Arboretum Specimen: The UA Bismarck palm was purchased from Merv Larson in Tucson. It is located on the south side of the Gould-Simpson Building near reflective windows and almost under a canopy.
Cultivation Notes: The Bismarckia nobilis grow best in tropical areas and do not deal well with cold. If the weather is too cold the palm could receive cold damage, but it tends to recover from it rather quickly. The palm is also fairly drought-tolerant and grows with sun exposure but it thrives in partial shade and rainy climates. The Bismarkia palm also needs a lot of space to grow because of their great size. For the palm to grow it must be in well-drained sand. The propagation of the Bismarkia nobilis is by seed. 
Ethnobotany: The Bismarckia nobilis is not used for many human or animal needs. The palm tree is mostly used for landscaping purposes. The tree works as a good focal point in a yard or landscape. Because of the Bismarkia palm’s massive crowns they can also be used for some shading or as a canopy. Since the tree is fairly drought-tolerant it is also used in areas that do not receive a lot of rainfall.